A Hidden Treasure

A little-known jewel of Lancaster County’s history lies along the Mill Creek in Upper Leacock Township. The Mascot Roller Mill, also known as Ressler’s Mill, is a working, four-story stone grist mill. The mill and adjacent miller’s house are open for tours Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm, May through October. Admission is free.

A mill has been on this site since around 1738. Just for reference, Pennsylvania was a British colony then and George Washington was only six years old. The first mill was only two stories high; it was raised to its current height by Daniel Groff around 1820. Groff also built the house next door in 1855. At that time, the mill boasted three overshot water wheels, two for the grist mill and one for an attached sawmill. The grist mill used French buhrstones to grind the grain.

William Ressler purchased the mill in 1865 during the Civil War. Since then, three generations of Resslers have operated the mill. William’s son, Jacob opened a post office in the mill. The post office was named “Mascot”. You will need to visit the mill to find out how that name was chosen. In 1906, the mill was upgraded. New water turbines replaced the old overshot water wheels and more efficient roller mills replaced the burhstones. The last miller was Franklin Ressler. Franklin assumed operation of the mill in the 1930s and retired in 1977. He formed the Ressler Mill Foundation to preserve the mill and house for future generations to enjoy.

Stop by anytime the mill is open. It is located at the intersection of Newport Road and Stumptown Road. You will find parking off Stumptown Road next to the yellow barn. You don’t need tickets or reservations. The tour of the mill runs about a half hour and includes a demonstration of making corn meal. The house tour also runs about a half hour. The house is furnished just the way it was when Franklin and his sister Anna lived there.

Here is a brief video that introduces the Mascot Roller Mills: https://videopress.com/v/xzKoLup0